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China maintains lead as world's most attractive renewable energy market

(2017-10-12)China has held its status as the world's most favorable market for renewable energy development and investment, according to a new study.

The biannual Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, compiled by London-based financial services firm EY - formally Ernst and Young - highlighted the high levels of public and private funds pouring into renewable power projects in China, as well as several energy efficiency policies.

After conceding the leading poll position to China in the last index, the United States remains in third place, while the United Kingdom was placed 10th in the ranking of 40 economies.

Earlier this year, China's National Energy Administration announced it would spend $363 billion to develop renewable power capacity by 2020. The investment will see renewables account for half of all new generated capacity and create 13 million jobs.

Solar capacity in China rose by 21 gigawatts over the past six months, and the government has set new targets to cancel or defer 106 gigawatts of coal power.

"The index highlights that government policy is pivotal in driving renewable energy development globally," said Ben Warren, corporate finance leader for global power and utilities at EY.

The US lost its top-ranking position in May, following the Trump administration’s decision to rollback many of the previous administration’s climate change policies.

The US now sits behind India, with Germany, Australia, France, Japan, Chile, Mexico and the UK rounding out the top ten.

The report noted Britain's strength in the offshore wind sector, where energy prices continue to fall.

Last month, the UK government held a wind farm auction where two firms agreed to build facilities for 57.50 pounds ($75.50) per megawatt hour.

The 50th issue of the EY includes projections that new wind and solar power will account for 34 percent of global electricity generation by 2040.